Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


USA Law (California) tank and steel building

USA Law (California) tank and steel building

USA Law (California) tank and steel building

Good morning,
i'm an italian engineer. I must design some tanks that will be sent in california.
I do not know laws in california, so someone can explain me about laws? In Italy there is a law (NTC2008) the rapresent a obligation for steel and concrete buyildings, the enegineers can use Eurocodes and other regulations adding to the NTC2008.

The API an ASME normatives are a obligation or the are other laws?

RE: USA Law (California) tank and steel building

Hard to say without knowing exactly what you're doing.
First off, most of California is a high seismic area, and incorporating a tank into a building would require a civil or structural engineer for the building design.
If the tank is pressurized (greater than 15 psi), it would generally fall under the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, which is usually referenced by state boiler/pressure vessel laws.
If not pressurized, the tank could be built to API or AWWA rules if applicable to the configuration, but wouldn't necessarily be required to comply with one of those two.
In most cases, the building would be subject to local building codes, typically IBC codes of varying years.

RE: USA Law (California) tank and steel building

Are seteel tanks , some presurized , some other not presurized .I'm mechanical engeneer , so concrete is task of civil enegeneer , my task i verfy tanks.

If I desgin only following API650 , it's enough ?

thank you

RE: USA Law (California) tank and steel building

Yes, API addresses steel tanks. API 650 covers flat bottom tanks, and API 620 also covers flat as well as other shapes. The API 620 maximum design temperature is 50 0F higher than the 200 0F of API 650. API 620 covers up to 15 psig internal and API 650 covers up to 2.5 psig. API 650 is for vertical tanks only, API 620 is for vertical and horizontal. Concrete tanks are not typically pressurized, just gravity tanks.

RE: USA Law (California) tank and steel building

Generally- for pressure vessels and pressurized tanks (greater than 15 psi), assume ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code is mandatory. You could check with the state boiler inspection agency to see to what extent they accepted any foreign codes. Also, ASME does have various exemptions for small tanks, etc.
For all other tanks- code of construction is generally by agreement between purchaser and supplier. Large oil and industrial tanks will typically be built per API-650. Small tanks may be non-code. There are also AWWA D100 (municipal water storage), NFPA-22 (fire-protection water storage), API-12D/12F (oil-field tanks), UL-142 (smaller petroleum storage tanks), UL-58 (underground petroleum storage tanks), API-620 (pressures up to 15 psi), etc.
FIgure in each case, the tanks would need to comply with a local building code, typically some version of IBC codes, and those codes reference ASCE 7 for wind and seismic loads.
And, as far as I know, in California, the application of wind and seismic loads to "mechanical" items is still considered civil/structural engineering.
There are federal rules and may be state laws relating to emissions issues and product containment/ leak detection.
OSHA (or in California, CAL-OSHA) rules will apply to ladders, stairs, handrails, confined space work, etc.

RE: USA Law (California) tank and steel building

I know this is beyond the scope of your original question - but are you exactly being asked to do?

If you're just trying to learn more about CA laws/codes, ignore this. Otherwise, you will want to review specifically the set of requirements that you're being asked to work to in your procurement specification. I'm guessing that you're not an ASME shop, so probably you're not being asked to supply those types of vessels, but I could be wrong.

RE: USA Law (California) tank and steel building

At adammal44 : i work for a italian factory that produces tanks, i have to provide to customer technical documentation about structural integrity that as legal validity in california.

Thank you very much JStephen for answer.

However i'm talking with notification organism ( TUV , BUREAU VERITAS , etc.etcc ) for validation of calculus.

RE: USA Law (California) tank and steel building

Agreed, I would ask your customer to flow down some requirements for you.

-What code is the system designed to?
-Do the tank drawings/calculations require a professional engineer (PE) stamp? Does that person have to be licensed in california?
-Is this a nuclear plant? If so, does it need an ASME N-stamp?

Legal technical documents need requirements from your customer.

RE: USA Law (California) tank and steel building

Unfortunately, customer give me only "seismic zone 4" as data. He sustain that this is enougth sad.
I think it's necessary PE engeener.
No is a nuclear plant , are brew tanks .
I have responded explainig that i am an "italian PE engeneer " i can only do a preliminary analisys following bulding codes, API620 and ASCE7.
For Legal Technical document i contacted notification organism (that don't has responded ) or alternatively he has to contact an american PE enegeneer.

RE: USA Law (California) tank and steel building

So, you're entering into the nexus of contract space, engineering ethics, and permitting.

If your contract says that you will provide a tank that meets California laws, then you probably need to figure out what will meet legal requirements for your customer. Did they at least specific a design/nameplate pressure/temperature that would guide you on the US design code applicable to this?

If your contract just says that you'll meet customer requirements and all he gives you is "Seismic Zone 4" and you've told him the design codes that you plan to use (as well as lack of PE stamping), then it seems like you're covered from a commercial standpoint.

RE: USA Law (California) tank and steel building

Seismic Zone 4 is no longer used in California. You need a specific site (address) and then you can obtain the earthquake information from the from United States Geological Survey (USGS) website for the seismic site values (Ss and S1). You will also need the site soil classification and determine the seismic design category. Your client or his foundation engineers should be able to provide this. If these are water tanks, then use the latest AWWA 100 code which has specific seismic guidance for designing the tank. For other, then use ASCE 7-10 (or 16) which will provide you with the structural design criteria. Somewhere you or your client should provide an importance factor. If you are in the Napa Valley, that is a big time seismic area. If you are in the inland valley and more to the east, then the seismic criteria is not so severe. All of California is considered earthquake prone and within the last few days the MSM (main stream media) have been scaring the public with "NEW" faults found off the Los Angeles area in the ocean.

Apparently your client provided your firm with outdated information. And you are probably dealing with a hard nose purchasing agent. I suggest that you contact a local structural engineer to assist you with the loading criteria. You can contact the Structural Engineers Association of California -- http://seaoc.org/professional-resources -- for assistance.

It is likely that your work will be reviewed by the local authorities for compliance, so you are doing the correct thing reaching out to the engineering community. You should also be aware that California is very litigious.

Good luck

RE: USA Law (California) tank and steel building

Any technical documentation similar to manufacturer's data sheet that you provide will first need to be translated into English and then reviewed by the AI or insurance co. B&PV department staff. If it is concluded that it meets the US codes whether API or ASME, then, you have a good chance to have your tanks installed. I came under such circumstance back in the '70's about a European fired PV to be installed in my State and it met the ASME code nearly paragraph by paragraph and jurisdiction approved its installation.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close